Hurdles high to achieving Lexus sales target - Toyota exec

TOKYO, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp has "high hurdles" to achieving its Lexus luxury brand's 2012 global sales target of 500,000 vehicles after sales of Japanese car brands plummeted in China, a company executive said on Thursday.

"There is the issue of China, and the hurdles are very high. But we still have three months left, so we are doing our best to achieve that target," Kiyotaka Ise, a Managing Officer of Toyota who heads Toyota's luxury brand Lexus, told reporters.

Sales of Japanese-brand vehicles have slumped in China since mid-September when violent protests and calls for boycotts of Japanese products broke out in China over a group of disputed isles in the East China Sea.

China is the second biggest market for Lexus, after North America. Toyota's China sales, including Lexus cars, fell 48.9 percent in September from a year earlier. Toyota does not disclose sales figures of Lexus brand vehicles in China.

(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

(( 3 6441 1886)(Reuters Messaging: